SYTYCD season 8, part 8 By Jennifer Tarrazi-Scully

Another week has past and it’s time for our favorite show.  July 13th and 14th, 2011 presented itself again with just a few highlights.  The judges were joined by choreographer Sonya Tayeh and Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who was actually one of the most entertaining parts of this episode.

The first piece worth mentioning was by the golden boy of the show, Travis Wall.  I have to take a moment to give Travis a pat on the back.  He was a contender in season 2 and I have really enjoyed watching him become one of the essential cogs that’s keeps the show running and in the 21st century.  Jordan Cassanova and Tadd Gadduang pulled him out of the proverbial hat and away they went to create a piece about a Vulture and vulnerable wanderer.  The piece was solid, gutsy, exciting, and the two dancers brilliantly battled it out until the wanderer, purely in self-defense, overcame.  It just couldn’t have been done better, congrats to all of you.

In a competition such as this one, you have two different kinds of players.  Regardless of technical ability, you have the artist who gets knocked down but it gives them a nourishment of sorts.  They pick themselves up off the floor, dust themselves off and move forward in positive ways.  Then there is the artist who lets it weigh heavy on their heart.  Their bubble gets burst and this is a really hard place to come back from, almost impossible.  I saw it in season 5 with jazz dancer Evan Kasprzak, and I’m seeing it this season with one of my early favorite contemporary artist Ryan Ramirez.  She has danced for her life a few times now, but I hope she snaps out of it.  I think she is dreamy and I don’t want to see her go home.

Well it is painfully obvious that Melanie Moore and Marko Germar is the couple to beat.  I also believe that Marko lucked out, because my Atlanta girl definitely flies that particular plane.  Once again they did not disappoint in a Louie Van Amstel Tango.  They danced like two pieces of chocolate melting into one another.  They executed a stunning lift which resulted with her dripping off the end of the stage.  It ended with Marko pulling her backwards… well… you will just have to see it to believe it.

Christopher Scott was a mixed bag this evening, earlier he made a piece that was just a little more than mediocre, but he was able to pull it together for Clarice Ordaz and Jesse LeProtto.  They told a simple yet beautiful story about the insecurities of women and the men that love them just the way they are.  The feel of the movement vocabulary was a good balance of sharp and oozy, and the dancers were connected as any two lovers should be.  The best way to describe the performance is, really stinkin’ sweet, and a smile creeps up on my face every time I watch it.

I’ve already spoken about two of my favorite ladies and I cannot leave out the third.  Yes, the powerhouse I speak of is Sasha Mallory.  With partner Alexander Frost they teamed up with Tyce Diorio for a barefoot jazz number.  It was sexy and hard with strong drops.  They had a fun desperation for each other, and the only words that resonated in my mind were, “Wham, Bam, Pow.”

In this show all the couples got to perform twice.  Of course the last highlight of the evening was good old Melanie and Marko doing a Dee Caspery contemporary piece, later deemed by Jesse Tyler Ferguson “the moth dance”.  The set
included a single lonely light bulb hanging from the ceiling, and the dancers had mixed feelings about it.  Melanie’s character was drawn to the light but Marko’s was skeptical and unsure.  In the end the bulb remained a mysterious entity as Marko gently drags Melanie away.  The whole piece left me wanting more, in a good way.  It made me feel as though a poignant experience had been missed, but the taffy tension between the two performers was perfect.   Thank the almighty spirits for Dee, he is definitely an asset to the show.  I agree with Sonya when she said, she is so, “…grateful that this is the future of dance.”

Thursday was inevitably around the corner.  SYTYCD went through the whole ceremony of grand opening numbers, some guest artists, whittling it down to 6 endangered dancers and having them dance for their lives.  After an unimpressive ballet solo, the boy sent home was Alexander Frost.  It upsets me to report, that being in the bottom six a few times did get the best of Ryan Ramirez.  She was also eliminated.  The heart breaking part is that they will not be performing with the rest of the dancers in the So You Think You Can Dance national tour.

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